Ron Johnson objects to corona measures ‘incentivizing people to not show up for work’

    Ron Johnson with his mouth open in a yell
    "Ron Johnson" by Gage Skidmore is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

    Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), says he’s not only worried about mass layoffs and other effects of an economic slowdown due to coronavirus — he’s also concerned that a House bill offering federally funded paid sick leave could lead to “incentivizing people to not show up for work,” according to USA Today.  

    “You have to think this thing through in terms of what are the unintended consequences of good intentions,” Johnson said.

    “People are going to have to work. People do need to recognize the fact that this is not Ebola. This is not MERS. It’s not quite the seasonal flu,” Johnson added. “But we have to keep things in perspective and we got to keep our economy.”

    In an interview on radio station WTMJ’s “Steve Scaffidi Show,” on March 16, Johnson said “Nancy Pelosi is going to make businesses give paid leave when people aren’t working. The businesses are going to pay for that.” 

    Johnson signaled his opposition to a House bill passed on Saturday to deal with the COVID-19 epidemic that has the support of President Donald Trump. 

    On WTMJ, he suggested that the Treasury Department might be able to act independently to deal with the economic impact of the pandemic.

    Ruth Conniff
    Ruth Conniff is Editor-in-chief of the Wisconsin Examiner. She formerly served as Editor-in-chief of The Progressive Magazine, and opened the Progressive’s office in Washington, DC, during the Clinton Administration, where she made her debut as a political pundit on CNN’s Capital Gang Sunday and Fox News. She moved to Oaxaca, Mexico, for a year in 2017, where she covered U.S./Mexico relations, the migrant caravan, and Mexico’s efforts to grapple with Donald Trump. Conniff is a frequent guest on All in with Chris Hayes on MSNBC and has appeared on Good Morning America, Democracy Now!, Wisconsin Public Radio, and other radio and television programs. In 2011, she did award-winning coverage of the uprising against Governor Scott Walker in Wisconsin. She has also written for The Nation, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Los Angeles Times, among other publications. Conniff graduated from Yale University in 1990, where she ran track and edited the campus magazine The New Journal.